Fadnavis Dares Oppn to Bring No Confidence Motion

Fadnavis Dares Oppn to Bring No Confidence Motion

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, whose 13-day-old BJP government survived a controversial trust vote in the Legislative Assembly in voice vote, has dismissed allegation of "foul play" by opposition Shiv Sena and Congress, saying all rules and procedures were adhered to in the passage of the motion.

Fadnavis also dared the opposition to move a no confidence motion against his government, saying he has majority.

"Congress and Shiv Sena did not ask for a poll (division of votes) at the appropriate time. Since Congress has always been in power it has forgotten the rules about when to ask for division of votes," Fadnavis told reporters here tonight.

The passage of the trust vote, crucial for the survival of the minority BJP government, was mired in controversy with the Congress and BJP's erstwhile ally Shiv Sena accusing the ruling government of failing to prove its majority and "strangulating democracy".

Earlier in the day, a one-line motion moved by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar seeking confidence of the House in the BJP government was declared passed by voice vote even as Shiv Sena and Congress insisted on division.

"If the demand (for division) was brought at the right time, we would have accepted the demand. We went through the legal way while opposition parties did not follow rules," the CM said.

Daring the opposition to move a no confidence motion against his government and to move court if they feel so, Fadnavis said, "We will win (the no confidence motion if it is brought) as we have majority. We have well wishers but their number cannot be told."

Strongly disapproving the passage of the motion by voice vote, Shiv Sena and Congress have decided to petition Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to direct the government to seek a fresh vote.

MLAs of Sharad Pawar's NCP, which had declared outside support to the government, remained seated quietly during the procedure amid din.

To a query if he disallowed division during the trust vote to protect the identity of his well-wishers, Fadnavis said, "My government has not rejected the NCP support but not accepted it either."

When asked if he would act against NCP leaders allegedly involved in corruption cases, Fadnavis said, "My decisions would be in the welfare of people and won't be to help individuals."

He said appointment of the Leader of Opposition was not listed on the agenda in the copy received by his office. "We have asked the Legislature Secretariat to inquire how the item was included in the last minute," the chief minister said.

Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde was today accorded the status of Leader of Opposition by Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde.

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